Wates Group was demonstrating resilience in the face of tough market conditions, and remained firmly focused on an ambitious longer-term plan of expansion and revenue growth.
With distinct business units and a decentralised structure, the challenge was in each business working more collaboratively across the Group, and overcoming the legacy of ‘think project’ rather than ‘think customer’.
Wates recognised that in order to grow and meet its objectives, it would not only need a world-class CRM system, there would need to be a significant cultural change programme to support the initiative at a strategic level.
Following meetings to establish the current and desired state, Joolz Lewis collaborated with Wates on the design of a change programme working with the CRM Programme, Communications, and Learning and Development teams.
This was aligned to Wates’ existing change management methodology, with Joolz adding value where Wates most needed support:
- Aligning the existing sales methodology language to that of the new programme, to reinforce familiar terminology and so avoid confusion
- Conducting workshops with business representatives to identify likely areas of resistance and possible solutions
- Working with the team to develop key messages that were embedded and consistent throughout all communications
- Designing and facilitating several Executive level workshops for ‘Key Sponsors’ and ‘Champions’ – ensuring they understood the strategic drivers, the programme components and timeline, and engaging them in overcoming potential roadblocks. The ultimate objective was to ensure they took ownership for the long-term success of the programme.
Chris Cornall, Wates CRM Programme Manager says…
Joolz added value to our CRM Programme implementation and her enthusiasm was excellent throughout. The workshops she facilitated with our executive level key sponsors were well received and helped significantly in driving the adoption of the CRM Programme across the group.
Personal Touch Financial Services
Personal Touch Financial Services Ltd is one of the largest Financial Service Networks in the UK. But in 2010, following the collapse of the financial markets, the business needed to go back to basics – the structure of the business – particularly the customer facing side – was not working.
There was no structured mechanism to develop or implement strategy, and the culture was one of a fragmented silo-based business with little or no communication. Above all, there was no enthusiasm or drive for an ‘end goal’ – the company didn’t know where it was headed.
Joolz Lewis, The Corporate Hippy, was asked to help the business because of her experience in helping clients to manage the transition from an owner-led, personality driven business managed in an ad-hoc way; to one driven by a common purpose and shared values, supported by a strategy and culture which is well defined, articulated and has everyone ‘on board’.
The 18 month transformation programme included:
- Going back to the beginning and starting with why – facilitating the definition of the PTFS vision and mission.
- Evaluating the end-to-end customer journey to identify trouble-spots in customer excellence – as a result the call abandonment rate was reduced from 35% to less than 3%
- Developing a competency framework for HR to implement across the business
- Setting up and supporting a Programme and Change Management Office
- Performance management and coaching training for the Board and Senior Management Team
- Facilitated off-site meetings to ensure alignment, evaluate risks to delivery and build a unified senior management team
Doug Crawford, My Home Move Chief Exec (before March 2012), explains why he brought Joolz into the business.
“Her approach and style are ideal for this business, where culture and community are everything. I knew that her style would work – everyone gets pushed a little out of their comfort zone, and this generates real results. She is a non-threatening challenge to me – she can ask challenging questions because she knows our business so well.
This gives us the opportunity to debate ideas and options at a high level within the business. Joolz is very open and that helps others to open up; she can work with a real mixture of people and beliefs, helping them to work together.”
The results speak for themselves. Following the 18 month programme (end 2011) account attrition was stemmed, advisor recruitment was showing positive growth and there was a real buzz and enthusiasm in the business regarding where it was headed.